War Will Continue, Netanyahu Tells GOP Senators

Netanyahu addressed Republican senators via videolink on Wednesday saying his government would continue its efforts to defeat Hamas in the Gaza Strip…reports Asian Lite News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told US Republican Senators that ‘Israel’s war on Gaza will continue’, despite increasing criticism from Democratic leaders over the escalating humanitarian crisis in the ‘besieged’ Palestinian enclave, Aljazeera reported.

Netanyahu addressed Republican senators via videolink on Wednesday saying his government would continue its efforts to defeat Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to lawmakers.

“He’s going to do what he said he’s going to do. He’s going to finish it,” Senator Jim Risch said.

According to Aljazeera, the Prime Minister’s remarks followed Senator Chuck Schumer’s recent criticism of Netanyahu as an “obstacle to peace” due to his government’s policies, particularly regarding aid delivery to Gaza.

Schumer said Netanyahu was no longer fit to govern Israel because of his government’s “dangerous and inflammatory policies,” particularly around getting aid into Gaza, as pressure mounts within the ruling Democratic Party in the US to discontinue its unconditional political and military support for Israel.

While facing criticism from Democratic quarters, Netanyahu has maintained support from Republican circles. Senator John Barrasso criticised Schumer’s remarks, affirming Israel’s right to self-defence.

Responding to Netanyahu’s speech, a spokesperson for Schumer said the Israeli PM had offered to speak to the Democrats as well, but he declined, saying the conversation should not be partisan, according to Aljazeera.

“I care deeply about Israel and its long-term future. When you make the issue partisan, you hurt the cause of helping Israel,” Schumer told reporters.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden cautioned Netanyahu in a call this week against a potential invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza without a clear humanitarian plan during a recent phone call. Biden urged Netanyahu to send a delegation of intelligence and military officials to Washington, DC, to address concerns about the potential invasion.

“I made it clear to President Biden in our conversation, in the clearest way, that we are determined to complete the elimination of Hamas in Rafah as well,” Netanyahu said of the call in a statement on X.

Rafah, on the Gaza Strip’s southernmost tip, has seen its population balloon from 300,000 to about 1.5 million people, as Israel has forcefully pushed hundreds of thousands of displaced residents fleeing bombardments in north and central Gaza since the start of the war in October.

Western countries, including Israel’s European allies, have cautioned against a ground attack on Rafah, which serves as a key hub for humanitarian aid coming through the Egyptian border.

United Nations experts have cautioned about an impending famine in parts of Gaza due to severe shortages of food and water. Oxfam has accused Israel of deliberately impeding the entry of essential supplies into Gaza through bureaucratic obstacles at border crossings under Israeli control.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borell, has reiterated calls for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, denouncing the use of starvation as a “weapon of war.”

Recent Israeli attacks in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of over 100 Palestinians, with Gaza’s Ministry of Health reporting a total of at least 31,988 Palestinians killed and 74,188 wounded since October 7. (ANI)

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